Organize a Residency

Many of Watershed’s summer residency sessions are organized by artists—who propose a theme related to clay and recruit a handful of other artists to join them for two or three weeks. We call these Artists Invite Artists (AIA) Groups. The balance of participants in each AIA session register independently, often drawn by a shared interest in the session theme. Once at Watershed, all artists work side-by-side in the Watershed studios, forming one community.

An AIA session provides an opportunity to gather with colleagues you know or to spend time with artists whose work you’ve admired from afar. The lead artist and group of invited artists can collectively shape a creative thematic retreat without the pressure and preparation involved in leading a typical training or workshop. AIA sessions are inspired and guided by the leading artists, but time is spent in shared exploration and dialogue in the studio rather than in formal instruction. While clay is core to the Watershed experience, some AIA artists work in other media as well.

Watershed’s staff welcome the opportunity to talk with prospective AIA Leaders about this leadership role and how it has been approached by others. Please read through the details below and contact us if you have further questions or would like more information. Annual applications are available in the late winter and are due for consideration by June 15 annually. Our 2018 AIA session lineup has already been determined (stay tuned for details!) but if you’re interested in submitting a proposal for 2019 or beyond, please subscribe to our e-newsletter to be notified when the application is available. 

How does an AIA Residency work?

  • One artist* proposes a theme for a summer residency session at Watershed and serves as the AIA Leader.
  • The AIA Leader participates in the residency free-of-charge; the fee waiver includes studio space, lodging and meals. The AIA Leader is responsible for personal travel costs to and from Watershed, as well as their materials and firing costs.
  • The AIA Leader is responsible for recruiting 4-8 additional artists to form an AIA group. These participants receive a 15 percent discount on their residency fees. Invited artists pay for lodging and meals at the regular rate (see fee schedule below), as well as materials and firing costs.
  • An additional 7-9 available spots in the session are filled on a first-come, first-served basis by artists who register independently.  Many artists join the group because of an interest in the session theme or in the group of participants. During the residency, all artists-in-residence work side-by-side in the Watershed studio, forming one community.
  • Sessions may be proposed for two or three weeks. When proposals are submitted (by June 15 of the preceding year), the AIA Leader and group members indicate a preference for early-, middle- or late-summer dates.

* Occasionally, two artists may propose a theme and share the role of AIA leader. In this case, the two artists must determine how to share one free-of-charge residency slot (e.g., each might pay 50 percent of the cost of one residency).

What is the application process to lead an AIA?

Applying to lead an AIA group happens a year in advance and interested artists are encouraged to contact Watershed to discuss their plans. Online applications are accepted until June 15 in the year preceding the residency.

Application requirements include a session theme, preferred session dates, and confirmation/contact information for at least four artists who plan to participate (in addition to the AIA Leader).

 

What are the fees for participants?

The AIA Leader participates in the residency free-of-charge; the fee waiver includes studio space, lodging, and meals. The AIA leader is responsible for personal travel costs to and from Watershed, as well as materials and firing costs.

The AIA invited artists receive a 15 percent discount on their registration fees. Invited artists pay for lodging and meals at the regular rate (see fee schedule below), as well as materials and firing costs.

 

 

Lead Artist

AIA Member, 2-Week

Regular Participant, 2-Week

AIA Member, 3-Week

Regular Participant, 3-Week

Registration

$0

$745

$875

$1,050

$1,275

Lodging & Meals

$0

$650-$1,200

$650-$1,200

$950-$1,750

$950-$1,750

What are examples of successful past AIA themes?

We have found that a wide range of themes have resulted in successful AIA residency sessions.  A few examples include:

  • Groups that focused on figurative sculpture with or without use of a live model
  • A group of artists with clay backgrounds, who now primarily work in other media, revisited their roots to work in clay
  • A session that focused on artistic influences and how time in shared exploration at Watershed impacted the participants’ work
  • Virtual or online collectives who formed a residency to work together in person
  • Sessions focused on a particular collaboration or project that included all resident artists (both AIA and non-AIA session members)

Is financial aid available?

Watershed offers a limited number of merit-based and need-based scholarships.  AIA members are eligible for scholarship awards of up to $500.

Apply to lead an AIA

The annual deadline is June 15 of the preceding year. You can find the application link here when we are accepting proposals. Sign up for our newsletter to be notified when the 2019 application is available.